Adaptation of Bittersweet Best Seller Arrives on Home Video

 

Everything, Everything,  Blu-ray Review, It's Maddy Whittier's (Amandla Stenburg, SCID, Anika Noni Rose, Nick Robinson, Everything, Everything

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Adaptation of Bittersweet Best Seller Arrives on Home Video

It’s Maddy Whittier’s (Amandla Stenburg) 18th birthday, but she won’t be celebrating the occasion at a party or restaurant. In fact, she won’t be leaving the house or even having friends over anytime soon.

That’s because she has SCID, a rare genetic disorder that basically makes her allergic to everything. Consequently, she’s been stuck inside a hermetically-sealed house since being diagnosed with the disease at the age of 3, shortly after her father and brother’s untimely deaths in a terrible car crash.

Lucky for Maddy, her mom, Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), is a physician who could afford to raise her in a luxurious, if sterile, environment free of the germs that could compromise her immune system in an instant. Although Maddy grew up curious about the outside world, she’s gotten used to exploring it over the internet with the help of online courses and a support group for kids with her sickness.

Then, Maddy receives the best birthday gift she could ever imagine when new neighbors move in right next-door. For, one member of the family, Olly (Nick Robinson), is a  boy about her own age. And all it takes is a glance through the glass window for the handsome hunk to fall head-over-heels in love with her.

The ardent admirer uses sign language to ask Maddy for her phone number, before typing “U R beautiful” in his very first text. Olly’s zeal only increases upon learning about her crippling affliction, and he asks if there’s any way he could be decontaminated to come over for a visit.

But that’s against doctor’s orders, especially mom’s, which forces the lovebirds to admire each other from afar. Hormones raging, Maddy is suddenly discontent with her sheltered existence in an antiseptic gilded cage. 

Will she recklessly abandon the protective bubble to rush into the arms of a perfect Prince Charming she barely knows? That is the burning question at the heart of Everything, Everything, a bittersweet, bildungsroman based on the young adult novel by Nicola Yoon. The picture was directed by Stella Meghie who successfully adapted the book into a syrupy soap opera certain to satisfy fans of the source material.

A tender enough tearjerker to dehydrate even this crabby curmudgeon!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for mature themes and brief sensuality

Running time: 96 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Trapped in Love: The Story of Everything, Everything; and deleted scenes.

To order a copy of the Everything, Everything Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack , visit:
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B072M35Y2C/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 Source:  Baret News

 

Franchise Reboot Revolves around Road Trip from Hell

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,  Blu-ray Review, Jeff Kinney, Murphy's Law, Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone,Tom Everett ScottDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Franchise Reboot Revolves around Road Trip from Hell 

According to Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” And Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul provides cinematic support for that pessimistic principle. For, this kitchen sink comedy relies on the domino effect to exacerbate the ever-mounting misfortunes visited upon the beleaguered Heffley family over the course of one disastrous, summer road trip.

The film is the fourth in the series based on Jeff Kinney’s illustrated children’s novels. It was directed by David Bowers who also made Wimpy Kid 2 and 3.

It’s understandable that the youngsters from the original might have aged out of their roles, though it’s a bit of a surprise that the movie features an entirely new cast, starting with Jason Drucker as the title character, Wimpy Greg Heffley. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play his parents, Susan and Frank, while Charlie Wright and Dylan Walters assume the roles of his older and younger brothers, Rodrick and Manny, respectively.

The premise of Wimpy Kid 4 revolves around a cross-country family outing to attend grandma’s 90th birthday party. The catch is that Susan envisions the drive as an opportunity to share quality time, so she collects everybody’s cell phone devices before departing.

This frustrates her fidgety brood who prove clueless without electronic devices. So Rodrick calls her “the worst mom ever” and sticks a “kidnapped” sign in the rear window which leads to their being pulled over by the police.

Subsequent eventful stops range from an overnight stay in a motel with rats in the pool  to a visit to a country fair where Manny wins a live piglet as a prize. The humor flowing from the escalating insanity is mostly of the bodily function variety: with farts, feces, burps and barfing being real crowd-pleasers.

Every skit is designed to keep the target audience of tykes and tots in stitches, with only occasional asides for adults, such as the inspired homage to Psycho’s legendary shower scene.

Altogether, a delightfully-mindless diversion for the pre-teen demographic!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG for rude humor

Running time: 91 minutes

Distributor: Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Bonus copy of the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Making a Scene; Greg Heffley’s 10 Rules for the Perfect Road Trip; Road Games; Learn To Draw; A Decade of Wimpy Fun;
bloopers and deleted Scenes; deleted animation; and Haulin’ Through Georgia.

To order a copy of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071JT3QQ5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News 

 

Mother-Daughter Vacation Nightmare Comedy Comes to Home Video

 

Snatched,  Blu-ray Review, Amy Schumer, Randall Park, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, kidnapped, EcuadorSnatched

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Mother-Daughter Vacation Nightmare Comedy Comes to Home Video

Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) is just having one of those days. First, she’s fired from her sales job in a boutique for irresponsibly ignoring customers in order to try on outfits for herself. Second, her boyfriend (Randall Park) callously dumps her on the eve of their planned romantic getaway to Ecuador, stating, “You don’t have any direction in life.”

Then, she cries on the shoulder of her mother (Goldie Hawn) who only proceeds to rub salt in her wounds with, “Michael was the best you’ll ever do.” Nevertheless, against her better judgment, Emily invites her on the trip because the pre-paid  vacation package is non-refundable.

Trouble is, Linda is also highly-neurotic, a worrier who rarely leaves the house, let alone the country. Plus, she’s a helicopter mom, which means she’ll be hovering around Emily the whole time, and thus probably preventing her from meeting a new guy. In the end, Linda grudgingly agrees to step out of her comfort zone, and hastily packs for what ought to be an uneventful stay an exclusive resort in paradise, judging from the brochure.

That is the stock setup of Snatched, a screwball comedy far more entertaining than it might read on paper. For, while the script does unfold like a generic “Vacation from Hell” yarn, it’s actually way above average, since it’s executed by a stellar cast topped by a quartet of consummate comediennes.

The picture co-stars Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as the aforementioned mother-daughter at the center of the story. It also features a couple of veterans in scene stealers Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack who make the most of their supporting roles.

The plot thickens soon after the protagonists land in Ecuador. First, Emily’s swept off her feet by a tall, dark and handsome stranger (Tom Bateman) she meets in a bar. The next morning, he lures them off the safe confines of the compound for what’s supposed to be an innocuous adventure of the countryside.

Next thing you know, the Middletons find themselves kidnapped by a ruthless gang led by the bloodthirsty Morgado (Oscar Jaenada) demanding $100, 000 ransom. Trouble is, the U.S. State Department could care less, and Emily’s brother Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) is an agoraphobic who couldn’t be counted on to come to the rescue.

Not to worry. The squabbling mother-daughter put aside their differences and rely on their wits to survive. Schumer, Hawn, Sykes and Cusack, all at the top of their game!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, pervasive profanity and crude humor

Running time: 90 minutes

Production Studio: Chernin Entertainment

Distributor: Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Blu-ray Extras: Audio Commentary by director Jonathan Levine; deleted scenes; extended and alternate scenes; and a gag reel.

To order a copy of Snatched on Blu-ray, visit  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06ZXY47D3/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News

 

9th Episode in the Sci-Fi Series Certain to Scare the Living Daylights Out of You

 

Alien: Covenant, Blu-ray Review, Ridley Scott, ALIEN franchise,  Michael Fassbenderm Katherine Waterstonm Billy CrudupAlien: Covenant

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

9th Episode in the Sci-Fi Series Certain to Scare the Living Daylights Out of You

Alien: Covenant is the 9th episode in the enduring, sci-fi franchise launched back in 1979, provided you count the trio of Alien vs. Predator spinoffs. This installment is a sequel to Prometheus (2012) which devoted fans know was a prequel to the original. Covenant was directed by the legendary Ridley Scott who also made the first and the previous picture in the series.

As the futuristic tale unfolds, we find the spaceship Covenant hurtling through the ether on a mission  to colonize a distant star with its cargo of 2,000 cryogenic humans and 1,140 frozen embryos. The crew, under the command of Captain Jacob Branson (James Franco), is composed of seven couples plus a state-of-the-art android named Walter (Michael Fassbender).

Before they reach their destination, the vessel is damaged by a “shock wave generated by a neutrino burst from a solar flare,” whatever that pretentious, scientific jargon means. The upshot is that the accident conveniently dovetails with the arrival of mysterious radio signals that appear to be human in nature.

Curiosity gets the better of them, and they divert the crippled craft to the source of the transmissions, an uncharted planet nearby. Against their better judgment, they dispatch an expedition team to the surface to determine whether the place is habitable and might thus serve as a substitute settlement spot for their hibernating pod people.

Unfortunately, the intrepid explorers are blissfully unaware that they’re being contaminated by a monstrous, microscopic virus that can enter a body through any open orifice. After a brief gestation period, the opportunistic infection drains the hosts of their vitality while simultaneously morphing into the drooling, gelatinous, man-eating creatures long associated with the Alien adventures.

This doesn’t bode well for the Covenant, and what ensues is a high burn-rate affair in which crew members are gradually picked off one-by-one, with each succumbing to a demise a little more grisly than the last. To paraphrase, the franchise’s immortal, inaugural tagline: In space, no one can still hear you scream, or save you from a body-snatching chestburster either.

A blood-curdling sequel and worthy addition to the series certain to scare the living daylights out of you!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for violence, profanity, sexuality, nudity and bloody images

Running time: 122 minutes

Distributor: Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Audio commentary by Ridley Scott; a dozen deleted and extended scenes; Meet Walter; Phobos; The Last Supper; The Crossing; Advent; Master Class: Ridley Scott; theatrical trailers; and David’s illustrations. 

To order a copy of the Alien: Covenant Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071YLX9D7/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Source:  Baret News

 

Visual F/X Variation of the Classic Tale Arrives on Home Video

 

Guy Ritchie, fantasy action adventure, Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Blu-Ray ReviewKing Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Blu-Ray Review by Kam Williams

Visual F/X Variation of the Classic Tale Arrives on Home Video

 

Do you remember what happened to the Sherlock Holmes franchise in Guy Ritchie’s hands? The low-key, cerbral sleuth who solved mysteries with his intellect suddenly morphed into a flamboyant, two-fisted superhero as likely to rely on brawn as brains to solve a case.

Well brace yourself for a similar transformation with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Again, Ritchie makes a concession to the attention-deficit demographic in crafting a fanciful reimagining of the beloved epic that plays out more like a frenetic, action-packed video game than a classic medieval tale.

Nonetheless, the good news is that the movie works, if all you’re looking for is to be entertained by an overblown summer blockbuster with an A-rating when it comes to state-of-the-art special f/x. And the characters even sport familiar names, from King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) to Lady Guinevere (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) to Merlin the Magician (Kamil Lemieszewski). But I still defy anyone to make sense of this hyperactive adventure which abandons the British folklore upon which it’s ostensibly based in deference to a cinematic mandate for incessant stimulation. 

The picture’s rudimentary plot unfolds as follows.  At the point of departure, King Uther (Eric Bana) is assassinated at the behest of his power-hungry brother, Vortigern (Jude Law). Instead of ascending to the thrown, Arthur grows up a lowly street urchin, utterly oblivious of his royal bloodline until the moment, years later, he manages to pull the magical sword Excalibur out of a stone.

Cognizant of his rendezvous with destiny, with the help of a big bird, an archer (Aidan Gillen), a black knight (Djimon Hounsou) and psychic Guinevere, Arthur embarks on an epic  quest to reclaim his birthright. And what an eye-popping spectacle it proves to be!

Guy, I like what you’ve done with the legend!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for violence, action, suggestive content and brief profanity

Running time: 126 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Arthur with Swagger; Sword from the Stone; Parry and Blood; Building on the Past; Inside the Cut: The Action of King Arthur; Camelot in 93 Days; Legend of Excalibur; and Scenic Scotland.

To order a copy of the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071J8Y6CP/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News 

 

Cheated Geezers Pull Bank Heist in Hilarious Crime Comedy

 

Going in Style,  Blu-ray Review, bank robbery, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan ArkinGoing in Style

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Cheated Geezers Pull Bank Heist in Hilarious Crime Comedy 

Released in 1979, Going in Style revolved around a trio of retirees who break the monotony of their dreary daily lives by robbing a bank. That critically-acclaimed, comic caper co-starred a trio of entertainment icons in George Burns, Art Carney and the legendary Lee Strasberg, the father of method acting.

Ordinarily, one would think twice before mounting a remake of such a beloved classic. Not Zach Braff (Garden State). Despite the daunting challenge, the ambitious actor-turned-director decided to give it a go.

First, he turned to Oscar-nominee Theodore Melfi (for Hidden Figures’ screenplay). Melfi came up with a terrific script only loosely based on the original. He retained the main characters’ names and the basic “bank heist” premise while updating the dialogue and overhauling plot to yield a rollicking, laff-a-minute adventure.

Second, Zach retained the services of Academy Award-Winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin to play the leads. Although 79, 84 and 83, respectively, these reliable, accomplished thespians generate an endearing camaraderie and deliver every punchline with perfect timing.

At the point of departure, we find Joe (Caine) in the midst of complaining to an unsympathetic loan officer (Josh Pais) about Williamsburg Savings’ impending foreclosure on his home when the place is suddenly held-up by a gang of masked men. Later that day, while commiserating with former co-workers Willie (Freeman) and Al (Arkin), Joe realizes they’ve all fallen prey to the bank’s shady practices which includes completely draining the pension fund they’re all dependent on.

But instead of alerting the authorities, the victims opt to take the law into their own hands, conspiring to retrieve at gunpoint precisely the same amount “stolen” from them. Of course, the hold up proves easier planned than executed, given that this is each of these geezer’s first felony.

Fortunately, the BFFs are not to be deterred, even after a disastrous dry run shoplifting at a supermarket. What’s bad for them is great for the audience, as the laughs just keep coming clear through the closing credits.

You can’t ask any more of a madcap comedy than this much hilarity!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, drug use and suggestive material

Running time: 96 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Deleted scenes;  and director’s commentary with Zach Braff.

                          

To order a copy of the Going in Style Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: 

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071ZN6N4Y/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

 

Source:  Baret News

 

 

Antonio Banderas Serial Killer Whodunit Comes to Home Video

 

Black Butterfly,  Blu-ray Review,  Black Butterfly, Antonio Banderas , Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo, Serial KillerBlack Butterfly

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Antonio Banderas Serial Killer Whodunit Comes to Home Video    

Paul (Antonio Banderas) is the literary equivalent of a one-hit wonder. The flash in the pan enjoyed a short-lived success, thanks to the best-seller he published while still in his twenties. Back then, he became the toast of the town when the popular tome was adapted to the big screen, even though the movie bore no resemblance to his book besides having the same title.

But that was decades ago. Now, all the money’s gone. The hangers-on have disappeared, too, and so has his wife (Alexandra Klim). As of late, he’s turned into a recluse, living alone in the mountains of Colorado in a rundown cabin he can no longer afford to keep up.

He fritters away most of his days drinking at a desk in a darkened room, praying for the inspiration to produce another masterpiece. Unfortunately, he’s suffering from such a terrible case of writer’s block that all he ever types are the words “I am stuck” over and over again.

Upon bottoming out with little hope of recovering, Paul admits to himself that it’s time to sell house. So, he lists the property with Laura (Piper Perabo), an attractive realtor he hires more for her looks than  her expertise. After all, he’s knows her very first client.

His judgment proves even worse when it comes to making friends. For, he decides to bring back to his place the Good Samaritan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who saved him from a trucker with road rage. Only after Paul agrees to let the stranger crash for a few days, does the guy reveal that he “just got out of prison and ain’t never goin’ back.”

Might this be the creep responsible for the recent rash of murders in the area? Unfortunately, Paul’s located in an isolated spot in the woods without any internet, TV or cell phone service. Nevertheless, the plot thickens with the unannounced arrival of several visitors, including Laura, a delivery boy (Nicholas Aaron), and a cop (Vincent Riotta) looking for a missing mailman. 

Thus unfolds Black Butterfly, an English language-remake of Papillon Noir (2008), a French film featuring the same basic premise. Directed by Brian Goodman (Sal), this compelling suspense thriller slowly ratchets up the tension only to unravel during the denouement, thanks to a humdinger of a twist.

  A riveting whodunit spoiled somewhat by a rabbit-out-of-the-hat resolution.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated R for profanity and violence.

Running time: 93 minutes

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment    

Blu-ray Extras: Black Butterfly backstage featurette; a trailer gallery; and a commentary with director Brian Goodman and co-writer Marc Frydman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To order a copy of Black Butterfly on Blu-ray, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071FR92N4/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News

 

 

 

 

Gyllenhaal Gives Great Performance in Sci-fi Horror Flick

 

Life,  Blu-Ray Review, Kam Williams, outer space adventure, alien force, international space station, claustrophobic thriller, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan ReynoldsLife

Blu-Ray Review by Kam Williams

Gyllenhaal Gives Great Performance in Sci-fi Horror Flick

In recent years, Hollywood has started serving up some outer space adventures, a la The Martian (2015) and The Space between Us (2017), suggesting that the Red Planet is basically a benign environment free of any hostile creatures. But just when we thought it was safe to visit Mars again, along comes Life, a cautionary horror flick unleashing a terrifying alien force aboard an international space station.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), the claustrophobic thriller co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds as Dr. David Jordan and Roy Adams, respectively, the Pilgrim 7’s  flight engineer and chief medical officer. The balance of the six-person crew is composed of Center for Disease Control quarantine specialist Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), systems engineer Sho Kendo (Hiroyuki Sanada), eco-biologist Dr. Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) and the spaceship’s captain, Katerina Golovkin (Olga Dihovichnaya).

As the film unfolds, we learn that their appointed mission is merely to deliver a single-cell organism arriving via space probe from the surface of Mars. It all sounds easy enough as the disarming plotline initially devotes itself to developing the characters’ back stories, like how David is a disenchanted, Iraq War vet.   

Upon retrieving the capsule, they celebrate the discovery of the first incontrovertible proof of life beyond Earth. They even allow Sho’s daughter to give the ostensibly-innocuous substance a cute, cuddly name, oblivious of the danger lurking just over the horizon.

The plot thickens when “Calvin” begins reproducing via mitosis, and every cell of its luminescent ectoplasmic mass proves to be an irrepressible mix of brains and muscles. By day 25, the sentient creature develops proto-appendages and becomes strong enough to breach containment.

Initially, it nibbles on a finger of Hugh’s, who somehow discerns that “Calvin doesn’t hate us, but he’s got to kill us to survive.” Great. What ensues is a desperate race against time to return to Earth before the mushrooming monster devours them all, one-by-one.

Though reminiscent of such sci-fi classics as Alien (1979) and Species (1995), Life is a worthwhile addition to the extraterrestrial on the loose genre. Substantial credit in this regard goes to the ever-underappreciated Jake Gyllenhaal who turns in the latest in a long line of impressive performances which includes outings in Nocturnal Animals (2016), Southpaw (2015), Nightcrawler (2014) and Prisoners (2013), to name a few.

Strap yourself in for a cardiovascular screamfest that’ll keep you squirming from beginning to end.  A riveting reminder that it still ain’t smart to mess with Mother Nature!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for violence, terror and pervasive profanity

In English, Japanese and Chinese with subtitles

Running time: 104 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Blu-ray Extras: Deleted scenes; Astronaut Diaries; Claustrophobic Terror: Creating a Thriller in Space; Life: In Zero G; and Creating Life: The Art and Reality of Calvin.

                                                                 

To order a copy of Life on Blu-ray, visit  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XT9C1C9/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News

 

Tyler Perry Back as Sassy Granny for Coarse Comedy

 

Boo! A Madea Halloween , Blu-ray Review,  by Kam Williams, Chris Rock, Tyler Perry, sermonizing granny, Diamond WhiteBoo! A Madea Halloween

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Tyler Perry Back as Sassy Granny for Coarse Comedy

No one has ever accused Tyler Perry of being short on ideas. After all, the prolific writer/director has been the brains behind a profusion of plays, movies and television shows.  But he would be the first to admit that he was not the source of inspiration for Boo! A Madea Halloween, the ninth in the Madea series revolving around the sassy, sermonizing granny.

Rather, the idea originated with Chris Rock, who featured a fake poster for a film with the identical title in his 2014 comedy Top Five. Because the joke went viral, Tyler decided why not get back in drag and make a movie to meet the demand generated by the buzz.

But Boo! definitely has a different feel from the previous Madea movies in that it is less your typical Tyler Perry morality play than a rudderless, kitchen sink comedy seizing on any excuse for a laugh. For, the Madea found here is no longer that Bible-thumping role model reliably interfering on behalf of an underdog in distress. Yes, one minute, she’s might be promoting old-fashioned values. However, there she is in the next scene exposing her breasts to lecherous frat boys.

The film does feature a rudimentary plot revolving around Madea’s 17 year-old grand-niece, Tiffany (Diamond White). Note that the premise is established at the point of departure and promptly abandoned. It’s Halloween, and the headstrong high schooler and her girlfriends hope to attend an “epic” party being thrown at Upsilon Theta frat house.

Since her divorced father (also played by Perry) will be otherwise occupied, it falls to Madea to babysit Tiffany, to make sure the rebellious teen never leaves the house. Made arrives with an entourage of amusing misfits, including marijuana-addicted Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), marble-mouthed Hattie (Patrice Lovely), and old fool Uncle Joe (also played by Perry). 

Soon, silly Halloween-themed one-liners, non sequiturs, slapstick and sight gags start flowing at a fast and furious rate that will undoubtedly be appreciated by the target, African-American audience. Yet, many of the punchlines are just as likely to be lost on those unable to decipher the often-inscrutable ebonics-laden exchanges.

Brace yourself for the specter of self-righteous Madea serving up street justice to clowns, collegiates, ghosts and goblins!

Good (2 stars)

Rated PG-13 for drug use, suggestive content, profanity, ethnic slurs, scary images and mature themes

Running time: 103 minutes

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Blu-ray extras: “Boo! From the Crew montage; and Why We Love Madea! featurette. 

To order a copy of Boo! A Madea Halloween on Blu-ray, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHWY1U/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Hanks Reprises Role as Crime-Solving Symbologist in Latest Adaptation of Dan Brown Thriller

 

Inferno, Blu-ray Review, by Kam Williams, Ron Howard, Robert Langdon, Dan Brown, Tom HanksInferno

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Hanks Reprises Role as Crime-Solving Symbologist in Latest Adaptation of Dan Brown Thriller

Dan Brown is the author of a quartet of best-selling mysteries featuring Harvard Professor Robert Langdon as the protagonist. The phenomenally-popular novels have sold over 100 million copies and counting, with the fifth in the series slated to be released in the fall of 2017.

Screen versions of the first two Robert Langdon books, The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009), netted over a billion dollars at the box office. So, it’s no surprise that another adaptation might be in order.

Inferno reunites director Ron Howard with Tom Hanks who reprises his lead role as a genius with an uncanny knack for deciphering ancient symbols and religious iconography. And Howard enlisted the assistance of a stellar support cast which includes Ben Foster, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan and Omar Sy.

Inferno is easily the most successful of the offerings, as it reins in Langdon’s earlier  tendency to overindulgence in inscrutable jargon. This go round, the intellectual badinage has been minimized to make way for a flurry of visually-captivating action sequences.

Another plus is the easy to follow plotline. The point of departure is a hospital in Florence, Italy which is where we find Langdon suffering from amnesia yet lucky to be alive given how a bullet to the head only grazed his scalp.

Before we even have a chance to blink, a gun-toting assassin (Ana Ularu) arrives to finish the job. Fortunately, Langdon’s gorgeous doctor, Sienna Brooks (Jones), not only helps him escape on the spot, but is prepared to abandon her practice to go on the run with her traumatized patient.

As it turns out, the hit woman was part of a much larger conspiracy. For, she was merely doing the bidding of Bertrand Zobrist (Foster), an evil billionaire on the verge of hatching a disturbing solution for the world’s overpopulation problem. Essentially, the madman’s plan is to unleash a lethal virus designed to kill half the people on the planet in less than a week.

That sets the stage for Langdon and Sienna’s dizzying race against time to unearth a cornucopia of clues enabling them to track down and disarm the diabolical Zobrist. That in a nutshell is the sum and substance of Inferno, except for a humdinger of a twist it would be unfair to spoil.

Easily, the most accessible, engaging, entertaining and cinematic adaptation of a Dan Brown thriller yet!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated  PG-13 for action, violence, profanity, disturbing images, mature themes and brief sensuality

In English, French and Italian with subtitles

Running time: 121 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Blu-ray Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; Ron Howard: A Director’s Journal; A Look at Langdon; The Billionaire Villain: Bertrand Zobrist; This Is Sienna Brooks; Inferno around the World; and Vision of Hell.

To order a copy of Inferno on Blu-ray, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHWTHO/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source: GIG News